March 29, 2010

Grand Simplicity

God has graciously granted one of my biggest wishes by giving Dani a fabulous teacher at her Day Hab who is also a wonderful Christian. Loretta is a spunky Italian who lives life fully each and every moment. Her deep brown eyes grab my attention every time she speaks and I can't help but smile watching her hands fly around with that good ole Italian gusto. She loves the Lord and loves our little Dani, which is why she invited us to her church last night to see her sing in a cantata.

We told Dani she'd see her teacher sing at another church and she was cautiously excited, not knowing exactly what to expect. We arrived and were immediately welcomed by those about to perform. Loretta's husband saw Dani and rushed to our side to say hello. He took us to Loretta who then escorted us to our seat and introduced us to the pastor. The church was much smaller than we are accustomed to, but as we settled in the small sanctuary waiting for the performance to begin, I began to feel something very special as tears began to overtake me. It was all I could do to keep my composure as I watched and waited. Beyond a shadow of a doubt the Holy Spirit was in our midst!

The singers dressed in black and white took the stage, as the younger helped the older and more fragile up the few carpet covered stairs. Some sat in chairs due to medical conditions, one lady gripped a cane, and they all held black binders which held their music. I caught myself praying for the elderly man with the black suspenders on the left side of the stage. Prior to the start he had shared that during rehearsal his blood sugar dropped so low he fell off his seat, scaring everyone half to death. He assured us he'd eaten well and that we could expect an emergency-free cantata.

The lights dimmed, the music started, and the Lord began to move. I couldn't get over how simple everything was, both the performance and the presentation, yet the Holy Spirit was stirring in my heart like a gargantuan wooden spoon in a big black kettle. I'd heard better singers before, I'd seen some of the most gifted actors in the past, and I'd sat before fancier scenery. But all that apparently doesn't matter when God is present because this humble group standing before me, medical conditions and all, was bringing me to my knees.

The event's purity was so gripping and refreshing I had tears in my eyes even today. It was truly grand simplicity at its very best and I walked away sensing the Lord had a good lesson for me to learn. Life can be so complicated but God is simple. Simple love. Simple grace. Simple forgiveness.

The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast

heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.

They took palm branches and went out to meet him,

shouting, “Hosanna!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

"Blessed is the King of Israel!”

Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it,

as it is written,

“Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion;

see, your king is coming,

seated on a donkey’s colt.”

John 12:12-15

1 comment:

Cheryl Barker said...

Praise Him!

I loved hearing this story of how a cantata touched you. I've sung in many cantatas throughout the years, and it's such a blessing to hear how God works through our simple offerings. It also challenges me to keep my heart pure as I give my offering...

Have a blessed Easter, Nancy!